Friends in Christ:
As many of you know, the federal government has recently adopted legislation, called the CARES Act, which provides significant financial relief to individuals, families, and businesses coping with the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic and the related temporary closure of businesses, schools, and places of worship. Included in this act are several key provisions:
- Unemployment insurance for laid-off church employees. In most states, churches do not participate in unemployment insurance and church employees are therefore not eligible for the benefits. Under the CARES Act, those normally not eligible (including church employees) can collect unemployment benefits if they are laid off.
- The Paycheck Protection provisions may allow small businesses, which include churches and other non-profits, to apply for loans that can convert to grants if certain conditions are met.
The details and regulations are still being worked out, and we hope to be able to provide additional information in the coming days on how churches and related agencies can participate.
Bishop Paul D. Erickson<